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  • I work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that I don’t charge a fee unless I make a recovery.  The percentage I charge generally depends on how much time and money I have invested in the case and the risks involved.  My fee typically ranges between 33% and 40%.  

  • The “fee” is what compensates the law firm for professional services and expertise it provides to the client. Costs, on the other hand, refer to expenses required in order to move the case forward, and are always paid by the law firm at the time they become necessary. Typical costs may include payment of the filing fee, medical records, facility records, postage, court reporter charges, witness charges, expert witness charges, deposition transcripts, and reasonable travel expenses. The law firm is reimbursed for the costs of litigation at the conclusion of the case, but only if a recovery was obtained for the client.

  • It depends on the facts of the case.  If liability is clear, the case should settle faster than usual.  If liability is strongly contested, it may take much longer.  On average it takes 3 to 4 years, start to finish, although I’ve settled cases before in less than 6 months.  

       
  • Scheduling.  Have you ever heard of the expression, “Hurry up and wait”?  Often hearings, depositions, and especially trial, for example, have to be scheduled months out because of conflicts between everyone’s calendar (judge, opposing counsel, witnesses, court reporters).  Delay is one of the most frustrating things about practicing law because it’s usually not something I can control.    

       
  • This is a scary question to answer because I usually don’t have enough information to answer it at first.  It depends on a lot of different factors such as the insurance coverage limits, nature and extent of the injury, how the injury occurred, and the people involved (esp. the defense attorneys, experts and insurance adjusters).  My opinion often fluctuates as I find out more information about these factors.  I separate the value of most cases into the following ranges:  <25K, 25K-50K, 50K-100K, 100K-150K, 150K-250K, 250K-500K, 500K-1M, 1M+.  Keep in mind these are settlement ranges.  It is much harder to predict what a jury may or may not award you at trial because you don’t know who your jurors are until they’re sworn in, and even then the information you have about them is limited.  Unfortunately, I don’t have absolute control over who is sworn in nor do I have unlimited time in order to get to know all the jurors.  

  • Yes.  I am licensed to practice law anywhere in Florida and have represented people throughout the state.  I am able to keep travel expenses to a minimum because it is possible to attend most hearings and depositions telephonically.  Similarly, whenever possible I retain expert witnesses who live close to the legal venue in order to keep costs to a minimum.  

  • Yes.  An estate would need to be set up for the deceased individual and the family would need to select a personal representative of the estate.  The personal representative would then be the individual who sues on behalf of the estate of the deceased person.  It takes some extra time because it requires court approval, but it is not a problem.  The law firm pays for it up front because it is a cost of litigation.    

     
  • There are two chapters within Florida’s legal statutes. One applies to nursing homes and the other for assisted living facilities (ALFs).

    “’Facility’ means any institution, building, residence, private home, or other place, whether operated for profit or not, including a place operated by a county or municipality, which undertakes through its ownership or management to provide for a period exceeding 24-hour nursing care, personal care, or custodial care for three or more persons not related to the owner or manager by blood or marriage, who by reason of illness, physical infirmity, or advanced age require such services, but does not include any place providing care and treatment primarily for the acutely ill. A facility offering services for fewer than three persons is within the meaning of this definition if it holds itself out to the public to be an establishment which regularly provides such services.” Fla. Stat. 400.021(7)

    “’Assisted living facility’ means any building or buildings, section or distinct part of a building, private home, boarding home, home for the aged, or other residential facility, whether operated for profit or not, which undertakes through its ownership or management to provide housing, meals, and one or more personal services for a period exceeding 24 hours to one or more adults who are not relatives of the owner or administrator.”  Fla. Stat. 429.02(5)

  • “(1) Any action for damages brought under this part shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued. (2) In those actions covered by this subsection in which it can be shown that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury, the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event for more than 6 years from the date the incident giving rise to the injury occurred. (3) This section shall apply to causes of action that have accrued prior to the effective date of this section; however, any such cause of action that would not have been barred under prior law may be brought within the time allowed by prior law or within 2 years after the effective date of this section, whichever is earlier, and will be barred thereafter. In actions where it can be shown that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury, the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event more than 4 years from the effective date of this section.”  Fla. Stat. 400.0236

  • “(1) Any action for damages brought under this part shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued. (2) In those actions covered by this subsection in which it can be shown that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury, the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event not more than 6 years from the date the incident giving rise to the injury occurred. (3) This section shall apply to causes of action that have accrued prior to the effective date of this section; however, any such cause of action that would not have been barred under prior law may be brought within the time allowed by prior law or within 2 years after the effective date of this section, whichever is earlier, and will be barred thereafter. In actions where it can be shown that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of the injury, the period of limitations is extended forward 2 years from the time that the injury is discovered with the exercise of due diligence, but in no event more than 4 years from the effective date of this section.”  Fla. Stat. 429.296